SS-303 General Specifications
Class: Balao class submarine
Complement: 10 Officers and 70 Enlisted
Displacement: 1526 tons
Length: 311 feet 8 inches
Beam: 27 feet 3 inches
Draft: 16 feet 10 in
Range: 11 000 Nautical Miles
Final Disposition: Sold for scrap 29 July 1971
USS SABLEFISH (SS-303)
Sablefish (SS-303) was laid down on 5 June 1943 by Cramp Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia, Pa.; launched
on 4 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. E. W. Burrough;
and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 18 December 1945, Comdr. R. H. Crane in command.
Following a shakedown
cruise from New London, Conn., to
Balboa, Canal Zone, the new submarine conducted type training in the Panama area until mid-May 1946. She
then returned to her home port, New London,
and spent the remainder of the year supporting ASW exercises off the east coast, participating in fleet exercises off Bermuda, and making a
three-week cruise off Greenland.
Her duty in 1946 established a pattern for her operations during much of her subsequent career. Highlights of her service for the next few years were:
testing a new type of submarine escape
buoy in January 1948, and again in September of that year; participating in ceremonies at Havana, Cuba, on 14 February 1948, the 50th anniversary of the sinking of battleship,
Maine; conversion to a snorkel submarine during the first half of 1951; and a starring role in one of Edward R. Murrow's See-It-Now television shows.
On 15 July 1952, the
submarine broadened her experience by departing New London and sailing to the Mediterranean for her first deployment with the
6th Fleet. After exercises with other United States warships and vessels of the navies of NATO allies
during the rest of the summer, Sablefish
returned to New London in
October. Thereafter, she made six more deployments to the Mediterranean.
When back on her home
side of the Atlantic, the submarine
was busy with exercises which took her as far north as Nova Scotia and south to the Caribbean.
In June 1959, she was one of the Navy's representatives at the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway;
and she operated in the Great Lakes
until mid-August. A second cruise up the St. Lawrence returned her to
the Great Lakes in 1961.
In May 1967, Sablefish
again headed east across the Atlantic;
but this time, instead of transiting the Straits of Gibraltar for service in the 6th Fleet, she visited ports in the British Isles and along the
Atlantic coast in France, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. On her homeward voyage, she also touched at Iceland.
The ship began her last
Mediterranean deployment in the fall
of 1968 and returned to her home port on 1 February 1969. On 30 June 1969, while operating out of New London, she was reclassified as an
auxiliary submarine and redesignated
AGSS-303. She was decommissioned there
on 1 November 1969 and struck from
the Navy list the same day. She was subsequently stripped and sold on 29 July 1971 to Union Mineral and Alloys Corp., New York City, N.Y.
[Note: The above USS SABLEFISH (SS-303) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS SABLEFISH (SS-303), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]